Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration
Dr. Svetlana Masgutova, a Developmental and Educational Psychologist had an early interest in the study of reflexes. Her work is based on the primary movements and reflex patterns, which develop in the womb and we are born with. These primary movements and reflexes are key elements of human development and are essential to our survival. They are involuntary movements that serve to protect the fetus, help in the birthing process, and aid in the survival during the first years of life. Reflexes develop from automatic motor activity when an infant is helpless in the control of its movements, to controlled movements, to skillful movements such as sitting up, rolling over, crawling, and eventually walking. They are considered to be fundamental neurological building blocks for learned movement, higher-level skills, and cognitive development.
If a reflex does not integrate into appropriate movement patterns, the reflex is considered to be “retained” or “present” past the typical developmental stage. Often times, children with various challenges have retained reflexes. This may be due to trauma or stressful occurrences, sensory processing disorders, brain injuries, developmental delays, or any disruption during child development. Retention of certain reflexes occurs to help protect our systems. Consequently, inefficient movement patterns develop and can have a negative impact on development of more mature movements, skills, and intellectual processes.
The MNRI method consists of providing precise stimuli to activate the reflexes and other exercises to help the motor experience of the reflexes create more efficient neurological pathways. When using the MNRI method, we do not attempt to inhibit these reflexes, but enable them to function more efficiently. This can have a positive impact on a child’s sensory processing, attention to task, body awareness, motor skills, self-image, interaction with others, and much more! The MNRI method is a noninvasive type of intervention and can easily be carried over at home as part of your child’s home program between occupational therapy sessions.
More information on MNRI – Masgutova Method can be found through The Svetlana Masgutova Educational Institute.